January 1, 1879
Clinton Public


Sunday night Albert RUNDLE and Ernest FIELD concluded to sleigh their girls, and they nearly succeeded, for when coming home, between Wapella and this City, the horses became frightened, and Field who was driving, was thrown out of the sleigh.  Rundle jumped out and attempted to catch the lines, but failed.   One of the girls jumped out, and the sleigh then partially upset, throwing Miss Sarah WADE out, striking on her head, injuring her spine so severely that she has been confined to her bed since the accident.  Miss Wade was taken into a farm house until the boys got to the farm when she was removed to this city.

Submitted by Earliene Kaelin

January 3, 1879
Clinton Public


The people of this city were greatly surprised, on Saturday, to learn that J.W. STILES, the jeweler had abandoned his family and business and left for parts unknown.  He left on the Chicago train, Saturday Morning, and before leaving left word with some person, that he did not intend returning and did not know where he should go.  Mr. Stiles has been in Business in this city for some seven years and was generally regarded as a straight forwarded business man.   While it was known that he has been financially embarrassed for the past year, there was no necessity for his leaving on that account, as the exemption law fully covered his property, he having only about $400 worth of stock.  It is rumored that he left on the account of the extravagance of his wife, but how much truth there is to the rumor we do not know.  He leaves a wife and child, to whom his sudden departure was a heavy blow.  His stock was attached by J. D. Rogers for rent due, but we learn that Mrs. STILES claims the property, and it is a question under the law if she cannot hold it.  Whether the reports be true or not as to the cause of him leaving, it is a hard case both for him and for those he left behind him.

Submitted by Earliene Kaelin


February 14, 1879 
Clinton Public

Jacob Maddox Puts an End to His Life.

For more than a year past Jacob MADDOX, a young farmer who lived in Barnett township with his parents, had the terrible dread resting upon his mind that his life would end in an insane asylum.  Do what he could to drive away this thought yet it was ever present with him at his work, in the social circle, or in the still hour of the night.  He became morbid and latterly shunned the company of his young associates.  Young Maddox was fairly educated and spent much of his leisure time in study and reading.  He had bright prospects ahead of him, for his father was well to do.  His brothers and sisters had been liberally provided for when they left the paternal home to make their own way in the world; and young Maddox was to come into final possession of the home farm.   His habits were good, and in the neighborhood of his home he was counted as a model young man.  There was nothing in life to make him discontented, for his pathway was strewn with the brightest hopes.  To add to his happiness he was betrothed to a very estimable young lady, and at no distant day the marriage was to have been consummated.  But all this availed him nothing so long as he was haunted by that terrible thought of insanity.  He strove heroically to banish it from his mind, but it "would not down at his bidding."  Maddox consulted several physicians, but it seemed they could not "minister to a mind diseased."  A few evenings before taking his life he was invited to meet with a party of young folks at a social gathering, but declined.   He then told his mother that he never more would take part in the gayeties of life.  His parents saw his depressed condition, but failed to discover the cause.  They did all that loving hearts could do to cheer him up, but their efforts failed.  Not long since young Maddox was thrown from his horse, after which he complained frequently of a bad feeling in his head.

On last Friday morning his father was going to Lincoln, and young Maddox hitched up the team and got everything ready for the old gentleman’s journey.  After attending to the chores young Maddox returned to the house and told his mother that he felt unwell.  He then went upstairs to his bedroom and in a few minutes afterward his mother was started at hearing the sharp ring of a pistol shot.  Running upstairs his mother found her son laying on the bed weltering in his own blood.  Mrs. Maddox ran across the street to call her neighbors and while she was gone young Maddox fired a second shot into his brain, which proved fatal.  The supposition is that the first shot failed to produce a fatal wound, as the right temple was only grazed by the ball; but the second time he placed the muzzle of the pistol square above his ear and the ball went crashing through his brain.

He left two letters, one for his parents and the other for his betrothed wife in which he told them that rather than live and become insane he preferred to die by his own hand.  It is a sad ending to a life that promised to be one of usefulness.



March 28, 1879 
Clinton Public


Thomas FARRIS lives near Farmer City.  He married the daughter of Hiram AMES, and with his blessing the old man gave his daughter a nice farm.   Farris ought to have been happy, but he was not; the green-eyed monster tore at the vitals of his heart and left him a prey to the worst passions.  One morning Mrs. FARRIS was milking the cows when the farm-hand came along and said it was a shame that a woman should do such work when two strong men were on the place.  The man took the woman’s place and did the milking.  Farris happened out into the barnyard at that time and began to abuse his wife, calling her the vilest of names.  The farm-hand resented the insult to the woman and gave the cowardly and brutal Farris a solid thumping.  This was the last indignity poor Mrs. Farris could bear, so she returned to the home of her father and there remains.

Farris finally began suit in the circuit court against Mr. Hiram Ames for damages for keeping his wife away from him.  The case opened on last Monday, and nearly one-half of the people of Farmer City were in attendance as witnesses.   Farris was put upon the stand and began to tell his story, but before he had gone very far into the merits of the case his attorney saw that he had nothing to stand upon, so he threw up his brief and Farris was almost hissed out of court.

Note: From the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index:
FARRIS, THOMAS     *ANUS, EUNIS      07/01/1869     DE WITT
Note: *ANUS should be AMES.


April 11, 1879 
Clinton Public

Another Victim of the Liquor Traffic.

The apologists for the liquor traffic say that whisky will not hurt anybody if they will not drink it.  This is not true.  The wife and child of Jacob MILLER, of Tunbridge township, did not use liquor, yet today they are suffering untold agony because a beloved husband and father lies in the silent grave, a victim of the rum traffic.

Jacob Miller came to this city last Monday to buy a load of lumber.  He was one of those unfortunate men who could never come to town without indulging in a social glass and too often he drank deeply.  During the afternoon he must have drank freely, for about dusk in the evening, when he started homewards, he was far gone in intoxication.  He also had a half-pint flask of liquor with him, which he had bought in this city.  When Miller’s dead body was found on Tuesday morning, part of the liquor was gone.  When about eight miles from this city, Miller fell from his wagon into the road and the forewheels of the heavily loaded wagon passed over his back and shoulder and pinned his head to the ground.  The occupants of the SPICER farm, in front of which the tragedy occurred, heard someone shouting in the road about ten o'clock at night, but they seeing nothing thought it only some roisterer who was returning to his home.  Tuesday morning they found Miller’s body, and the team was standing quietly just where they were stopped when their ill-fated owner met his death.  Who can picture the agony of the loving wife when her husband’s corpse was borne to her door.

Miller was a young man, being only about thirty-five years of age.  On the death of his father some years ago, he came into possession of a nice property.  He was one of those good-natured fellows who spent his money freely, and consequently was never without a number of associates.  The fine property left him by his father rapidly passed into other hands, and the farm on which he lived, the last of his patrimony, is covered with a heavy mortgage.  Three times before the fatal Monday night had Miller barely escaped death while under the influence of liquor; once he had been thrown from a wagon and severely injured, and twice had he been thrown from horseback.  When on one of his frolics he was thrown from his horse and his foot catching in the stirrup he was dragged quite a distance before he was released.

Who is responsible for Miller’s terrible death?  Certainly the men who sold him the liquor.  Had there been no liquor sold in Clinton, the unfortunate Miller could have come to this city in safety to buy his lumber and returned to his home sober and in his right mind.  His family, today, would have been spared the grief caused by his untimely death. For the sake of a few dimes the liquor seller sold to Miller that which robbed him of his senses and deprived him of his life.  The men who sold him the liquor must have known of his appetite for strong drink, for Miller rarely came to Clinton that he did not become intoxicated.  In the light of this sad event every friend of humanity in our city should bestir themselves to aid in suppressing the accursed traffic that carries death and desolation to so many homes.  Free our city from the curse of liquor so that the unfortunate victims of appetite may come and go without danger to themselves.  Whisky murdered poor Miller as it is murdering its hundreds every day.  Thank God the city of Clinton is not a partner in the liquor traffic, and we hope soon to see the day when all classes will unite in driving the business entirely from our city.



November 21, 1879
Clinton Public


There will be a shooting match on the farm of P.H. Mills one mile west of Clinton, on Wednesday, Nov. 26, a fine lot of turkeys will be shot for. Go and get a Thanksgiving Turkey and have a good time.

Submitted by Earliene Kaelin